So, let me start by saying, I took SO many picture inside this cave. Like Seriously, SO many pictures. I have tired to simplify as much as possible.
K- So we drove out to Spring Mountain, where the Crystal Ball Caves are located. It’s about a mile drive.
We drove up a trail, and then got out, and hike about a quarter mile up up up. Until we came to a rusty door. T
The entrance to the caves. The kids were all excited and anxious to get into the caves. Our guide was Travis. He and I had been texting over the past months. He helped us get all set up with the cabins, he gave us directions to the Devil’s Gate slot canyons. He was great, and his tour of these incredible caves was really great.
He opened the door, checked for rattle snakes, and the kids all ran in! It was perfect timing, because it started to rain, again.
These two, ready to get in.
The cave had so many huge caverns. We got in, and Travis told us about how the family found the cave.
Gerald’s Dad, was chasing a stray sheep when he found them. The land had been Native American land, and they had no record of the cave. It seemed that they were the first people to find it. They blasted the openings, and explored the cave. They owned it for years, based on a mining claim. They lost the cave when the government made it too hard and expensive to own it privately. Now, the cave is on BLM land. But the family still maintains and protects the cave, with the government’s approval of course. Because it’s BLM land, they can’t technically charge a fee to visit so they ask for donations. It was worth it.
As you enter the cave you are welcomed by a large group of stalactites.
The whole cave was made of Lime Stone and gypsum. Its all crystal.
There are so many cool formations. The cave was around during the Lake Bonneville period. The caves were once totally filled with water and you can see the effects of the waves and water and wind everywhere.
They these, are puffs of calcium that used to float on the top of the water, then stuck to the ceiling.
There is still some standing water in the caves, and places dripping and creating new formations.
One of the most amazing formations in the cave.
The fault time that runs through the cave. AND probably the reason the cave even exists.
These delicate wings that hang.
Mirah got to help with a demonstration.
We started to go through a series of low areas now. We had to really watch our heads. We would periodically pop up into “chimys” to stand and catch our breaths.
Lucas was getting covered in bat poop dust. And LOVING it.
We stopped to take some pictures here.
As you can tell by the gif below, Lucas was starting to want to run free.
More crawling ahead!
We made it to the last huge room. There were beautiful huge crystal balls in there. One you could even sit in!
The lost thing we looked at was the calcified remains of a miniature horse!
He let us hold it’s tiny hoof! The other three are other places. One at BYU. One at UC Berkeley, one in the home of Gerald’s mom, whose husband found the cave.
We made our way out of the cave, and even found some limestone pieces outside of the cave!
Our little band of spelunkers.
Coming out of the caves.
It was sunny and lovely and beautiful.
On a clear day, you can see FOREVER.
The hike down was full of chatter and fun science facts supplied by Travis.
Like check out this cool fossilized sea sponge.
Back at the cars, it was hard to say goodbye to Travis. We were having such a nice time.
I was FILTHY. Word to the wise, don’t wear all black when entering a very dusty cave.
A view of the ranch from the top of Spring Mountain.